Insurance Companies: Obama Mandate Will Drive Up Costs

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 17, 2012   |   2:23PM   |   Washington, DC

While most of the attention in the debate over the Obama mandate focuses on the divide between Obama, pro-abortion forces and pro-life and religious groups over conscience issues, insurance companies say they are concerned as well.

The revised Obama mandate would essentially force insurance companies to provide women with “free” birth control and abortion-causing drugs like ella and the Plan B morning after pill. Now, in a new survey released today from consulting firm Reimbursement Intelligence, which surveyed 15 pharmacy directors at health insurance plans, almost half of them expect costs to increases.

As the Washington Post notes, “The White House has said this is a good deal for health insurance companies: Providing birth control is cost-effective, preventing more expensive pregnancies down the line. But health insurers don’t seem totally sold: About 40 percent expect it to increase the cost of their drug benefits….About 20 percent expect the provision to be cost-neutral, while a third still don’t know what the impact will be. ”

It appears none of the major firms surveyed indicate costs will go down. The insurance companies that expect costs to increase? They insure more than 100 million Americans.

From the survey:

“Payers were divided about the potential impact of the ACA mandate, but none thought the mandate would lead to net cost savings by preventing unintended pregnancies among members.”










Reimbursement Intelligence conducted an on-line survey of 15 pharmacy directors representing >100 million pharmacy covered lives, fielded February 14-15, 2012. Overall, 86% of covered lives were in commercial (employer-sponsored) plans, with the balance representing free-standing pharmaceutical benefit plans (PBMs).